Make us your home page
Instagram

Heatwave cooks in the rain

With the rain beginning to pelt the audience, Heather Gray dances to the music of Big Sam’s Funky Nation during WMNF Tropical Heatwave. Over 30 bands were scheduled.

DANIEL WALLACE | Times

With the rain beginning to pelt the audience, Heather Gray dances to the music of Big Sam’s Funky Nation during WMNF Tropical Heatwave. Over 30 bands were scheduled.

TAMPA — Just as this city used to be advertised as America's Great Next City, people at Tropical Heatwave say it should be billed as the Place to Hear America's Great Next Bands.

Related News/Archive

In many cases it has been, which is why Hans and Jane Griebla of Hudson began to fret Saturday afternoon as they stood in a bar and watched the afternoon downpour outside. The rain threatened to keep them from getting to the nearby Cuban Club to catch Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles.

The band isn't well known, but Jane Griebla thinks the roots rockers could be a Next Big Thing.

She might be right. She remembers talking to bands at past Heatwaves only to see them later on Late Show With David Letterman.

Hans agreed. He watched Alejandro Escovedo at Heatwave a couple of years ago, and now he can watch him on YouTube playing with Bruce Springsteen.

Jane pulled out her iPhone and glared at the weather radar that showed just one isolated storm sitting over Tampa.

"Right over Heatwave," she said in disgust.

Though weather delayed sets by about 45 minutes, the Grieblas managed to enjoy the rest of the 28th annual music festival sponsored by WMNF-FM 88.5, Tampa's community radio station.

This year, Heatwave boasted 32 bands bombarding Ybor City venues such as New World Brewery, Orpheum and the Cuban Club with a musical buffet of ska, reggae, Latin jazz, folk, soul, funk and pop. Festival coordinators expected between 4,000 and 5,000 to attend after strong advance sales, said Carrie Core, WMNF community coordinator.

What's not to love about Heatwave, asked swampy, bluesy, folky, pop musician Lauris Vidal, who hails from the Daytona Beach area? He loves the venue, where you can move from bar to building, stumbling into something different while mingling.

As Vidal was about to go on, concertgoers chatted with David Dondero, a National Public Radio folk darling a couple of years ago, who was enjoying a beer and the music at New World Brewery.

Musicians view Heatwave as a midlevel music festival on a national scale but a distinctive one that exemplifies the heart and soul of the community radio station that puts it on, as well as the city of Tampa.

Will Quinlan of Will Quinlan and the Diviners, an indie folk group that has played the festival before, lives in Tampa and would like to see Heatwave book larger national acts in 10 years. But then he thought about it.

"I like that it's not too well known as well," he said. "I like the fact that it's ours."

Not far away, Gary and Judy Horvatis, snowbirds from Buffalo, N.Y., residing in Clearwater, sat at a table outside the Cuban Club band shell staking out a good spot to hear blues singer Michael Burks.

"I don't know how you can improve it," Gary Horvatis said. "The price is right and the bands are right. It's perfect."

Justin George can be reached at (813) 226-3368 or [email protected]

Heatwave cooks in the rain 05/16/09 [Last modified: Saturday, May 16, 2009 10:43pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Republicans to unveil broad tax cuts Wednesday, put off tough decisions

    Business

    President Donald Trump and top Republicans will promise a package of sweeping tax cuts for companies and individuals, the Washington Post reports, but the GOP leaders will stop short of labeling many of the tax breaks they hope to strip away, putting off controversial decisions that threaten to sink the party's tax …

    President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in the Rose Garden of the White House, Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017, in Washington. [Alex Brandon | Associated Press]
  2. Double your fun: Twitter's testing a 280-character limit for tweets

    News

    Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey last year made a definitive announcement about the company's famous 140-character count amid rumors that the firm would substantially relax the limit. "It's staying," Dorsey told the "Today" show's Matt Lauer. "It's a good constraint for us."

    In this 2013, file photo, the Twitter logo appears on an updated phone post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. [AP photo]
  3. Datz to open in St. Petersburg, join the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art

    Food & Dining

    Now Datz news.

    Get it? Tuesday, Datz, the longtime line-out-the-door, oft-Instagrammed and -Yelped Tampa stalwart known for shock-and-awe sandwiches and oh-so-much bacon, announced it is coming to St. Petersburg.

    Lunch guest eat at Datz Deli at 2616 South MacDill Ave. in Tampa. Times files.
  4. Equifax CEO Richard Smith steps down amid hacking scandal

    Personal Finance

    The chief executive of Equifax, the troubled credit reporting agency that suffered a massive data breach affecting as many as 143 million people, will retire, effective Tuesday, according to a statement by the company.

    Richard Smith, chief executive of Equifax, the troubled credit reporting agency that suffered a massive data breach that affected as many as 143 million people, will reportedly retire effective Tuesday.
[File photo: Joey Ivansco/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP]
  5. Bass Pro acquires Cabela's for $4 billion

    Retail

    Bass Pro Shops has acquired competitor Cabela's for a reported $4 billion. Bass Pro indicated it is seeking to appeal to all "outdoor enthusiasts" with the move, roping in hunting customers from Cabela's.

    Bass Pro Shops acquired Cabela's for $4 billion, Bass Pro announced Tuesday. | [JAMES BORCHUCK | Times]